SEMA 2013: The Latest Must-Haves From Koul Tools
Assembling hoses for an automotive product can literally be painful. Often steel-braided hoses will fray when cut, this can quickly make a mess of your fingers. Push-lock style fittings aren’t much better often requiring a gorilla-like grip, and a fare share of grunting to get the fitting to slide onto the hose.
With over 60 years experience working in the performance industry, Dick Raczuk has always taken the approach of building his own tools when none were available. Holding numerous patents, and even spending a large part of his career with American Honda, Raczuk started Koul Tools nearly a decade ago.
Easy Braided Hose Assembly
“The motorsports industry has been so good to me, that I really do this now to give back to the industry,” says Raczuk. The first and best known tool he developed is the AN Hose Assembly Tool for attaching AN fittings to braided hoses. The design is so simple, yet effective it’s hard to believe no one thought of this before.
The funnel shaped tool holds an AN fitting into position, and even the most frayed of hose ends can be easily twisted into the fitting, reducing waste and putting an end to butchered fingertips. The assembly tools are avaialble for -04 to -16 AN size stainless braided hoses.
Aside from being easy to use Koul Tools are also designed to last, “We’ve sold over 20,000 of these since 2004, and I’ve never had one defect,” Raczuk tells us.”At the 2004 SEMA show when we debuted this I did over 800 installs on one of these, and checked it at the end of the show, it only wore .010-inch, so it’s pretty much a lifetime tool.”
Push-lock Hose Press
Another recent invention of Koul Tools is their EZ-ON Hose Press. This is yet another tool designed out of necessity, While there were a few tools on the market for installing straight push-lock style fittings, there were none available that could do all of the different angles and sizes. Raczuk again went to work and came up with his press design. This Koul Tool allows for quick and easy assembly of push-lock hoses. “It’s made from investment cast steel, this is a tool you would find in a fine machine shop. The handles are solid stainless, and the fittings are brass. We recommend keeping lubrication on this tool and it should virtually last a lifetime I’ve done a thousand installations with this and it still worked,” Raczuk told us of his patent pending machine.
Soon to be available from Koul Tools is the sure seat tool. Designed for cleaning up flared tubing ends before assembly, Raczuk says the sure seat should help achieve better seals on these delicate fittings. “When you flare a tube, you want to do the same thing you do on engine valves, they need to grind and lap the valves, you should do the same thing with your flared tubing.”
Like the other Koul Tool designs the Sure Seat is simple in design but effective in function. Designed for 37 or 45-degree flares a diamond dust imbedded tool is used to gently lap a flared tubing end and create a clean seat. “Every time we’ve used this tool, there’s virtually 100% no leaks,” says Raczuk. The Sure Seat should be available soon, with pricing to be announced when it goes on sale in 2014.
AN Fitting Repair
If you’ve assembled enough aluminum or steel AN fittings, you’ve likely dropped and damaged one at some point in time, likely by placing a small ding in it that’s enough to prevent a good seal. Koul Tools now has a way to repair that as well with an AN fitting repair tool that’s designed to repair the seat on a damaged AN fitting. This tool has the potential to save hobbyists and builders hours of frustration, days of waiting on new fittings to arrive, and hundreds of dollars over a lifetime of car building. “This is just hand pressure just like lapping your valves, with a small ding or hairline this will save the fitting,,” says Raczuk.
With common sense innovations for enthusiasts and shops alike Koul Tools continues to find new ways to make our lives easier, at an affordable price, with an easy to use solution.